“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance..” Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 4
Grief...it is something we all experience during our lifetime. We grieve when we lose a loved one, we grieve as we move from one location to the next, we grieve during times of deployment and during other times when life isn’t as we would like it to be. Grief is a very real and necessary emotion. The scripture from Ecclesiastes reminds us that there are times when we weep and when we mourn.
During our early years of marriage my husband and I lost a number of babies through miscarriage. With each pregnancy there was much excitement. Would this little one be a boy or a girl? Who would they look like? What sort of personality would they have? There was much anticipation as we looked excitedly towards expanding our family. There was much excitement at the thought of this new little life and the fun and joy that they would bring. There was much excitement at the prospect of being parents and being able to love and input into the life of another.
When we lost these babies there was great sadness. The dreams we had would no longer be realised. This side of heaven we would not get to cuddle this little one, we wouldn’t get to see if they were a boy or a girl. We wouldn’t get to love them, to see who they looked like and to enjoy their personality. We grieved. These were times to weep and to mourn.
During the last miscarriage we were living in a location that would never be my choice! Life was fairly lonely and I allowed grief to overwhelm me. Grief became my God, it consumed me. All I could think about was the babies we had lost. I was not an enjoyable person to be around. I was obsessed with my grief instead of looking at the good things I did have. While we definitely need to grieve, I took that further and allowed grief to become my identity.
I picked up a Christian magazine for women one day and saw a Retreat advertised. Something leapt inside me as I read the advertisement and I felt I needed to go. I knew little about the organisation and the Retreat was in a different State but I made plans and was able to attend. In the weeks leading up to the Retreat I had a very sore shoulder and nearly chickened out of going! While on the Retreat I was in a small group seminar when a lady asked if there was anyone in our group with a sore shoulder...she pointed exactly to the spot where I was experiencing pain. I had never seen this lady before or told anyone at the Retreat my story. She explained that it was a symptom of grief and that grief was consuming me! The Seminar disintegrated at that point as some very precious ladies prayed strategically for me. I came home from that Retreat a different person (much to my husband’s relief!). God not only healed me of my grief but 11 months later we were blessed with our precious daughter Rebekah.
Grieving is both healthy and necessary. I took grieving way too far though and allowed it to consume me, it became my God. If that’s you, can I encourage you dear sister to get help? Don’t stay isolated and consumed by your grief. Let God use His people to bring healing into your life.